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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 9, 2013 11:00am-11:31am EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. money and guns. congress working around the clock on the budget and extension of a firearms ban. world leaders now travel to go south africa. they're there to attend the memorial for nelson mandela. and americans around the country are digging out following this latest blast of ice and snow. >> battle over the budget congress on the verge of a new spending deal as lawmakers spe e
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the bill before leaving for the holidays. it contains some things that the house does not like. >> this is it for this session this year. they're off for the holidays whether the farm deal is not, whether the budget is done or not. whether a whole host of items are normally no brainers for congress. they're having trouble, as you might imagine, as is in surprise getting it done. you heard of a grand bargain. this isn't even a baby grand bargain. this is keeping the music playing to keep the government from shutting down. this deal that has not yet been inked that is likely to come as we understand has done everything but reach very far. provides a framework by which congress can come back in
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january and pass those spending bills and avoid another catastrophe. over the weekend we heard dick durban, number two democrat in the senate. >> what i hear from patty murray, negotiations are making progress, moving in the right directions. they have not closed the deal. i hope as part of it the negotiators will take to heart what the president had to say. >> reporter: so just to be clear, del, this isn't a deal to extend government spending. this is a framework by which congress is going to come back in january and fill in the details. this makes is more likely there won't an shutdown but there are still no guarantees. ralph motorman is one of the top republicans on the senate. >> we can shift some of the savings from the part of the congress appropriates every year to the part of the budget, the
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two-thirds of the budget that is mandatory spending, keep the budget caps in place, not raise taxes, which is important during this weak economy, and avoid a government shutdown. >> the farm bill is one thing. your eyes might glaze over when you talk about farm policies. but let's put it this way, in terms that everybody understands. if they fail to come to an agreement they don't extend current law the price of a gallon of milk could double some $7 a gallon. that will hit home especially if unemployment extended unemployment benefits are not extended by this congress. the people taking it in the next one more time. those in the lower income groups. >> and trying to keep up technology. the senate working on a plastic gun ban. >> reporter: this is something that has been in place since the reagan administration, but gun control advocates say there is a problem.
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what has to happen, any gun that is predominantly made of plastic has to have a metal part to make it secure. one problem is that that metal, that piece of metal under current law can be easily detached. for any reason someone would want to do something like than there is a proposal to make that put in plastic guns. that's likely to fail. >> and you and i know that they will take their vacation , but t seems to america that congress is doing less and less and they're on vacation more and more. >> reporter: when you include the post office namings, and profunctory items, in there is
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no question. they come in for two days a week. you put it all together they might be here for six months out of the year. they're expected to spend five hours a day at the d this, c or rnc on the phone dialing for dollars, and much of the legislation you see in congress has become more or less a sound stage, an audition for fundraisings where the fights are picked to fire up the base. it's a situation where dysfunction has taken control and we're celebrating a fact that they're passing a budget for the first time in 2009 in congress, yet this is the fundamental role of congress. so the situation really has not improved that much. any budget deal that has come by the end of the week not with standing. >> mike viqueira, thank you very much. president obama is on his way to south africa at this hour. he's heading the u.s. delegation there.
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>> reporter: president's bush and former first lady laura, and former president clinton will also be going, desmond t tutu is taking part and right now the nelson mandela center is holding ceremonies to honor the normal r president. we have more on how the people of africa are remembering nelson mandela. he was a father figure. the world may be watching the big events but there are smaller events taking place as well. it appears we lost alan, but he's back. >> reporter: we're at nelson mandela square. this is one of those areas that
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you were mentions. this is one of the districts in jojohannesburg. there will be places like this all over this country, and there has been a steady stream of people coming in from that corner all day long. one set of people who will be posing in front of the statue, the 25-foot statue of nelson mandela down there. another cordoned off stream of people who want to see the flowers and notes left earlier today. there was another group being sheparded in. children who wanted to write notes at a table could proceed to this area and place them there. everyone is waiting for the huge event tomorrow. the latest word that we had from the government was that 50 heads of state, a number bigger than yesterday at this time. 50 heads of state expected to continue and that number could
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change in the next few hours before that event. it will be scheduled for 11 here south africa time. 80,000 people expected in one of the big soccer stadiums and they have set up 90 big screens all around the country. we expect a massive crowd here tomorrow. gates opened at 6:00 but the folks we're talking to in soweto said, look, school is out. a lot of businesses are closed. people are coming in from all over the country who just want to have a part of this. so we expect massive crowds in the stadium outside the stadium, and in areas of remembrance like this all over the country. del? >> and alan, i know that you visited the small town of alexandrialexander to honor mana there. >> reporter: yes, this is the heart of high-end retail in one of this city's wealthiest districts.
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what we found today is a lot of people who work in this very wealthy neighborhood, as you might expect, live in a very different world. >> alan joining us from south africa. thank you very much. france said it will start disarming fighters in central african republic. they're voting to send troops to the country to restore stability, today we're hearing about the arrest of a senior rebel commander. >> reporter: if we're hearing from eyewitnesses here in the city that a leader has been arrested by the french, he is a top seleka commander very close to the president here. he was viewed as someone who might take over in it came down
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to it. he is feared by many in the city. he was interior minister at one point. there is even speculation that he ran a secret prison in the city, and with arrests of those who were loyal to the former president. so big news, and it may potentially have an impact on french operations here at the moment. which they're carrying out, disarming people in the streets of this city basically stopping all vehicles, asking if they thy hand over weapons, and if they don't they threaten force. >> thousands on the streets of bangkok again today. the prime minister yingluck shinawatra said the she will one again. 150,000 people vowing to ove overthrow shinawatra.
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after weeks of protests, the president said he's now ready to talk to the protesters. they have now have less than 24 hours to end their bloc blockadn government buildings. we have more from kiev. >> reporter: interior ministry troops gather at entrance points to independent square in kiev. protesters are facing emanant eviction from the buildings they have taken over. these aren't snowballs. they are made of plaster. trouble may be on the way. protests are concerned that police may have come early and they scramble to the barricades to defend the square from any possible assault. yesterday's mas mass rally may e boosted resolve to stee steer ye
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to europe. >> they're really loyal to the current president. >> reporter: there may yet be a peaceful outcome. the president has offered talks to end the crisis with former ukrainian leaders. and the e.u. foreign policy chief is flying to kiev this week. as the cold closes in organizers need the crowd to stay on independent square. there may be safety in numbers. >> that is robben forest walker. worsening smog in east china. smog conditions have closed several highways and grounded more than 20 flights for a short while. a lot of regions have been hit
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by heavy smog. environmental protection agency went to china to help out. >> it's more important than ever that we continue to work together. we know that pollution knows no boundaries, and we can be driven by our shared environmental challenges and priorities to layout a solid foundation and cooperation for the work ahead. >> she hopes the lessons learned here in the u.s. will serve as guidance for chinese officials work on its environment proble problems. >> reporter: if you just happened to book a flight you might want to call ahead before go to the airport. we have more. >> reporter: the arctic blasts now entering a second week is causing misery across the country. staying warm is not easy when there is ice, snow and freezing temperatures as low as
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20 degrees below zero in some areas. >> i do have a number of layers on, i've got on wool socks, who layers of pants, two layers of shirts, my big jacket. >> it's cold. >> reporter: sheets of ice and white out conditions have sent cars, trucks and buses sliding across roadways causing collisions and miles of traffic jams. interstate 94 in wisconsin was shut down after a massive pileup as resulted in one dead. ia vehicle was flip over a guardrail and into icy waters. the driver was killed in the crash. for those traveling by air. >> you can't begin the day. i'm trying to see what i can do
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to get back home. >> reporter: the cold snap grounded 3,000 flights. eyes caused this roof collapse. and in texas sheets of ice souped like thunder. frigid air blankets pennsylvania, new jersey. all that snow did not stop philadelphia fans braisin facins their favorite teams played. utilities workers are racing to get lights back on, thousands are living without power across the country, and with a threat of new ice accumulations more outages could be on the way. all that and the official start of winter is still two weeks away.
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>> that was eboni deon reporting. where is the storm now and where is it heading next? we'll return to dave warren. i got stuck in the mess. >> meteorologist: you and a lot of people got stuck in the mess. the storm will clear out. winter weather advisory in effect this morning. winner storm watch in effect for what's coming tonight. another wave of low pressure moving along this pattern which is stuck in the same pattern. we'll see another round of rain, sleet and know. we see this all clearing out. there is still rain coming down across parts of southeastern pennsylvania. the temperatures have climbed barely above freezing. and the snow and ice is still on the ground. the temperatures climb above freezing, but this is in effect tonight so there will be more travel delays and we could get
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stuck again. we'll keep an eye on that story. >> thanks. well, the world's busiest airline an takes off today. the merger is now complete. the new airline will debut on the nasdaq, it's ticker will be aal. the name u.s. air ways no more. it will pass into history. coming up on al jazeera america. proposed safety regulations after metro north's train accident.
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al jazeera america is growing and now more americans are getting the high quality, original, in-depth reporting al jazeera america is known for. >> to find out more about al jazeera america go
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to >> well, street appears to be playing it close to the vest at this hour. the dow is up just 15 points. friday's strong job report has investors speculating about when the federal reserve will start to pull back on that stimulus program. gas prices are up again. the price for a gallon of gas rising $0.03, and lundberg expects prices to go up again a few more pennies he the next several days. two u.s. senators are asking the government to step in to make train travel safer. the action is called after the train derailment in new york. >> reporter: in the same weekend funeral services were held for the youngest person killed in the metro north train derailment
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two u.s. senators urge the federal government to adopt safety practices to prevent another practice. >> five years ago it was recommended that cameras be installed in our locomotive cabs both pointing inside and pointing outside. inside to see what the engineer was doing. and outside to see if tracks and signals were in good shape. >> reporter: since the metro north services both of their states, new york senator chuck schumer and connecticut senator blumenthal wrote to implement the cameras immediately. this comes after the emergency order on friday requiring metro north to overall its signal system as soon as possible. the company must have an extra crew member on some routes with major speed changes. while the senators acknowledge that's a step in the right direction they say its still not
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enough. and as it turns out this is not the first time there has been a call for cameras on passenger trains. the safety board suggested the same safety precaution after a collision in california. >> 22 people died in that crash, and it was recommended that cameras and recorded be installed to determine the time of fatigue in days that produce that crash. >> reporter: the engineer of the new york city train william rockefeller reportedly acknowledged he was in a daze as the train approached the area where it tripled the speed limit. the crash killed four people and injured dozens more. while this may not bring back the people killed in the train
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wreck, the senators hope they can prevent more families from losing a loved one in this tragic way. >> six months have produced five tragic incidents including four fatalities and the time for change is now. >> reporter: a new change going into place tomorrow. the mta will add an extra person inside the cab so they can communicate on speed limits on routes with perilous curves. looking at the life and legacy of nelson mandela. his firm belief that education held the key to helping south africans. tñ
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>> well back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here are today's headlines. lawmakers are due back in washington. they'll be facing pressing matters before they head out for the holidays. the most significant issue is the budget to avoid the government shutdown like the one in october. four leaders are making their way to pay tribute to nelson mandela. president obama and first lady are taking off on air force one. french forces are now the central africa republic say they will restore order by answer means necessary. the.
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37 years after students in soweto protests over the education system, south african students still fail to make the grade. it seems that apartheid is still hard to overcome. we have more from cape town. [ cheering ] nelson mandela supporting and encouraging children in school. from the start of his career as an ain't apartheid activist, the leader placed education at the center of the struggle. he said his single most important priority is
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>> later because of this and in some corner they would change and understand why the up rising. >> nelson mandela urgently educate black students to the standard of their white counterparts to give them both purpose and hope. >> they have really struggled to fulfill nelson mandela vision. they are crippled by inequa inequalities. school buildings are falling apart. >> schools outside of cape town are more typical of the problems
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the system is struggling with. activists argue there is now a dangerous gap between the promise of education and what is actually delivers. schools boast of 70% pass rate. but to graduate students only need 30% of their exams and a third of them won't be litter rate by the time they disbelieve by the end of their 12th year studying 50% of those young people have fallen out of the system. so it also has to do with the curriculum. it also has to do with the training that our teachers had durintoday. today. >> reporter: apartheid's legacy stubbornly consistent.
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and these students struggle with its legacy. >> meteorologist: i'm meteorologist dave warren. first off, the airports are looking at delays around new york, newark and new jersey, about two hours because of low clouds and reduced visibility. the roadways around wisconsin, a lot of slippery roads there with the snow coming down. and you can see the traffic is well backed up. the temperatures remain below freezing. a lot of slick spots not only in the upper midwest but across the entire'entire east coast. this is just from one storm. the weather will remain the same. jet stream dipping down over the northern plains but very active along the mi mid atlanta. atlanta--atlantic.
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another low pressure will come and will bring more to workers s that have already seen seen it. temperatures just above freezing so we're getting light rain but going into the future now and we'll show exactly when another wave of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will develop. and it's overnight tonight by 6:00 tonight. snow is coming down, freezing rain and rain. and it goes right over b.c. baltimore and the cold air moves south. it changes over to all snow. temperatures in new york will be in the 40's and then dropping. more snow coming in overnight tonight and tomorrow. finally clearing out and staying pretty clear is that arctic air is in place wednesday, thursday and friday. >> thank you very much. and in about 40 minutes we'll take to you chicago to see how they're struggling in the windy is city.
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thanks for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters. inside story is up next. and as always you can check us out on the wheels of the american economy turned with the labor of low wage workers across this country. the dishwashers, retail sales people and healthcare providers who toil at the federal minimum wage haven't seen a pay raise in four years and efforts in congress to find one have stagnated. cities, states, and counties are taking it on themselves to bring their workers to income levels closer to the fiscal realities of these tough times. and it's no easy task.